I was out early morning with a start at Brook Furlong Lane.
A Cetti’s Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat were all present throughout my walk with Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Reed Bunting and European Stonechat noted on the river path. The usual ducks were on the River Weaver with some large Canada Goose creche seeking safety in numbers. Pied Avocet were making their way out to the Mersey Estuary and several Eurasian Oystercatcher were alarm calling on the far side of the river. A single Common Sandpiper was feeding at the edge of the river with a Common Ringed Plover and a single Common Redshank, a flock of c20 Black-tailed Godwit flew from the estuary and dropped down out of sight on the far bank.
The injured Pink-footed Goose was again on the far bank and distancing itself from the many Canada Goose nearby. The Sand Martin were busy around their nest site on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.
Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit were displaying over No.1 and No.3 tanks and a single Northern Wheatear was on the pipeline.
Further out to No.6 tank c400 Black-tailed Godwit were in the shallow water with c200 close in to the bank but were disturbed by an unseen raptor and joined the rest of the flock in the middle of the tank. A visiting birder reported a Curlew Sandpiper amongst a few Dunlin mixed in with the godwit flock. On the ‘phalarope pool’ a pair of Greylag Goose dropped in and were buzzed by the resident Northern Lapwing.
A single Little Ringed Plover was foraging in the mud and a male Western Yellow Wagtail was fly-catching at the pool edge.
A couple of young Brown Hare were seen as were several young rabbits building up the a depleted population.
The Spindle Ermine Moths have stripped several spindle bushes bare with the caterpillars hanging from silk threads but don’t seem to be of interest the birds.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 2-10).
After work I took the opportunity in the brisk north-easterly breeze and settled on the north bank of No.6 tank to count all of the 812 Black-tailed Godwit feverishly feeding up for their long trek north.
Going further were 7 Red Knot with just the one boldly living up to its name. Who knows where the summer Dunlin are heading but 21 of them were with the shorebirds this evening. Four Common Ringed Plover and 7 Eurasian Whimbrel were on the edge of the flooded stubble at the edge of the water. A species normally associated with drier conditions were 6 Western Yellow Wagtail on the waters edge.
There were big numbers of Common Swift with perhaps 4-500 birds over the tank. All this activity attracted a Eurasian Hobby that circled high over the tank before clicking into attack mode and singled out a small party of swifts. A Eurasian Cuckoo put in a brief tune and Cetti’s Warbler must surely be here for the long run now.
The Western Marsh Harrier was again on its perch and a singing Eurasian Cuckoo gave a brief rendition of its name.
Earlier in the day I watched A 1st summer Eurasian Spoonbill flying south east over the Upper Mersey Estuary by the new Mersey Gateway bridge at 11.50am.
Observer: WSM (images1 & 11-14).